Posts Tagged ‘Highway extension’

“In Like A Lion, Out Like a Lamb?” Lambert’s Lagniappe- March 2010

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

For most people, February felt like a “long winter of discontent”, with snow and cold gripping most of the country. The old saying, “March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb”, hopefully will ring true this year.

Although most of the country endured cold weather in February, two major actions influenced U.S. transportation: The TIGER Grants and the extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The TIGER grant announcements demonstrated that a successful solicitation process can be done to address critical needs. Across the Southeast, these included several projects that will benefit commercial freight movements, such as rail
projects in the Appalachian region, port development in Gulfport, Mississippi, and I-95 improvements in South Carolina.  But like all things, there always remain more needs than money.

The month ended with the failure to extend authorization of the Highway Trust Fund. While an extension was approved a few days later, the resultant stoppages demonstrated the commitment needed to develop long term, multiyear projects (We need a similar commitment to WRDA projects!) Finally, February marked the one year anniversary of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. While others can argue the jobs creation numbers, the states committed all the money to projects, and projects are being implemented. Overall, it was a busy month for transportation policy in the U.S.

In February, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting a longer winter. But Spring is coming, and March holds the promise of better days. Like the approaching summer, a meaningful commitment to infrastructure (and jobs) seems far away, but it appears that more see the value of funding our transportation needs.